Sports Star of the Year voting starts

— If you like voting for athletes, consider the nominees for the 79th annual MTR Western Sports Star of the Year.

The possible stars, announced Thursday by the Seattle Sports Commission, is a collection of the Northwest’s premier athletes.

Every January, this event honors the athletes, coaches, media figures and stories in or from Washington state for their achievements during the previous year.

Since its creation in 1936, there have been nearly 100 Sports Stars honored at this event.

Fans can vote for their favorite nominee in the male, female and sports story of the year categories online at

Voting continues through Jan. 15, 2014.

Winners will be announced during the event Jan. 22.

Female nominees include Joan Bonvicini (Seattle University women’s basketball head coach), Krista Vansant (UW volleyball), Marti Malloy (USA judo), Melissa Arnot (record holding Mountaineer), Micaela Castain (WSU soccer) and Tina Thompson (Storm basketball).

Male nominees include Bishop Sankey (UW football), DeAndre Yedlin (Sounders FC), Hisashi Iwakuma (Mariners pitcher), John Lester (Red Sox pitcher), Russell Wilson (Seahawks quarterback) and UW men’s soccer.

Story nominees include Eastlake Little League, Husky Stadium, UW volleyball, UW crew, Seahawks run and Seattle University men’s and women’s soccer.

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State Department of Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Dan Christensen recorded this video of the release of a mama bear and her three cubs Friday, Sept. 11, 2015. The bears were captured in a tree at Esther Bricques Winery near Ellisforde. The original video was much longer. We've edited out several minutes of footage between the cubs leaving the first trap and the mama and cub leaving the second trap. Enlarge

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